Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Writer's Tale; Wall Street Journal, 7/20/09

L. Gordon Crovitz via Wall Street Journal; A Writer's Tale: Mark Helprin doesn't think his words ought to be free:

"Novelist Mark Helprin couldn't have made up what happened after an op-ed article he wrote for the New York Times in 2007 urging stronger protection for copyright. He thought this was a topic of interest only to publishing houses, authors and copyright lawyers. Instead, within a week there were 750,000 comments online criticizing him for wanting to extend authors' rights beyond the current 70 years, many of them opposing any copyright protection at all.

As Mr. Helprin read through many of the blog posts and other comments, he was taken aback to see that so many people opposed the centuries-old and constitutionally protected right of authors to the proceeds of their work. His newest book, "Digital Barbarism," is a sharp polemic on how the Internet makes information accessible but also creates a view among some of the digerati that what is easily accessed has little value and deserves little protection."


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